Roden 1/72 Mun.Sd.Kfz. 4/1
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
In early 1943 a ten-tube multiple rocket firing system, the Nebelwerfer 41, designed by Rudolf Nebel, was mounted on the chassis of the well-known Opel Blitz Maultier half-track.
The vehicle, later named the Sd.Kfz.4/1 Panzerwerfer 42, was completely covered with armor of varying thickness, and it offered its crews the potential of a responsive self-propelled artillery piece with significant advantages in case of firing, being able to quickly move away from the very visible smoke trails. The 158-mm rocket system designed by Nebel was a near-perfect development and quite different from its Soviet counterpart (the famous BM-13 Katyusha), with greater accuracy of shooting.
By 1943 the first production Panzerwerfers were sent to fighting units on the Eastern Front. Production of the self-propelled artillery was very slow, and so the use of these vehicles was quite limited.
The main drawback of the machine was the relatively small amount of ammunition available per vehicle - each Panzerwerfer 42 could transport only ten 34-kilogram rounds during combat operations in the launcher installation itself, above the armored body, and another ten within the hull. First, there was a plan to introduce the Sd.Kfz.250 half track for the transportation of additional ammunition into the organisation of combat units; however, the idea was later abandoned because of its ineffectiveness. It was decided to create an ammunition transporter on the exact same chassis and with the same design as the Panzerwerfer 42. The mobile launcher installation was removed for this purpose, and additional compartments for 10 rockets were installed inside the truck and a further container on the upper armor plate for another 10 rounds, so the transporter could carry thirty rockets.
The truck was designated the Munitionskraftwagen für Nebelwerfer (Sd.Kfz.4) and was incorporated into the combat units of tracked artillery.
During 1944-45, in addition to 300 Panzerwerfer 42 rocket firing systems, they managed to build at least 287 Munitionskraftwagen ammunition transporters, which were in use until the last days of the war on both the Eastern and Western Fronts.
To go along with their previously previewed Nebelwerfer 42 kit, Roden adds another interesting subject in the form of the munitions carrier. Like the other kit, this is based on the SdKfz 4 maultier chassis so you'll find a lot of the parts to be the same. Typical of these sorts of kits, there are a lot of very small parts, all in plastic as there is no photo etch fret with this one. The tracks are the single piece vinyl type, though it may be that these are deformable styrene.
Even in this scale, Roden has provided us with a complete engine and a well detailed chassis. The parts themselves are very nicely molded and quite scale. The builder will be best served to use a fine razor saw to remove many of the pieces and equal care when cleaning them up. The 'cockpit' includes a pair of seats, shift levers, steering wheel and an instrument panel, though you'll not be seeing much of this at all, especially if you leave the shuttered windows closed.
The back section, while enclosed with the upper body piece it does have detailed storage for the additional rockets. Of course, there are the usual tools to fit on the outer body to make things seem properly busy.
Markings for these are rather plain with most being Panzer Yellow with streaks of green and brown to help break up the silhouette of the vehicle. The small decal sheet is very nicely printed, but be prepared for a bit of additional effort as Roden decals tend to be somewhat stiff and reluctant to snuggle into and over things.
Nice to see the munitions carrier being done, though it shouldn't come as a surprise to most. It makes for an interesting and unusual subject for your collection.
August 2011 Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. This one is available now at your local retailer. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly , please contactme or see other details in the Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. This one is available now at your local retailer.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly , please contactme or see other details in the
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page